Beautiful city by the water
Marina del Rey is an affluent unincorporated seaside community and census-designated place (CDP) in Los Angeles County, California. A Westside locale, the population was 8,866 at the 2010 census. Fisherman’s Village offers a view of Marina del Rey’s dominant feature, the Marina, the world’s largest man-made small craft harbor with 19 marinas with capacity for 5,300 boats and is home port to approximately 6,500 boats. The harbor, the Los Angeles Times said in 1997, is “perhaps the county’s most valuable resource”.
Prior to its development as a small craft harbor, the land occupied by Marina del Rey was a salt-marsh fed by fresh water from Ballona Creek, frequented by duck hunters and few others. Burton W. Chace, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, referred to the area as mud flats, though today the area would more properly be referred to as wetlands.
In the mid-19th century, Moye C. Wicks and Louis Mesmer thought of turning this Playa del Rey estuary into a commercial port. He formed the Ballona Development Company in 1888 to develop the area, but three years later the company went bankrupt.
Port Ballona made by Louis Mesmer and Moye Wicks was then sold to Moses Sherman. Sherman purchased 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land around the Ballona lagoon and Port Ballona in 1902 under the name the Beach Land Company. Sherman and Clark renamed the land “Del Rey“. Port Ballona was then renamed Playa Del Rey. The port was serviced by the California Central Railway opened in September 1887, this line later became the Santa Fe Railway, that later became the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. The rail line ran from the port to Redondo junction. A street car tram line was made to the Port by the Redondo and Hermosa Beach Railroad company, that had incorporated on February 21, 1901. This company was part of the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad owned by Sherman. The tram line opened December 1902 departed downtown at 4th & Broadway.
In 1916, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revisited the idea of a commercial harbor, but declared it economically impractical. In 1936 the U.S. Congress ordered a re-evaluation of that determination, and the Army Corps of Engineers returned with a more favorable determination; however, the Marina del Rey harbor concept lost out to San Pedro as a commercial harbor and development funding went to the Port of Los Angeles instead.
In 1953, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized a $2 million loan to fund construction of the marina. Since the loan only covered about half the cost, the U.S. Congress passed and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 780 making construction possible. Ground breaking began shortly after.
With construction almost complete, the marina was put in danger in 1962–1963 due to a winter storm. The storm caused millions of dollars in damage to both the marina and the few small boats anchored there. A plan was put into effect to build a breakwater at the mouth of the marina, and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors appropriated $2.1 million to build it. On April 10, 1965 Marina del Rey was formally dedicated. The total cost of the marina was $36.25 million for land, construction, and initial operation.
BEAUTIFUL BEACHSIDE CITY
Discover Marina del Rey, California, for your LA stay. Beautiful waterfront views and a carefree attitude, all just minutes from LAX and Venice Beach.
DINING, RECREATION AND MORE
- Fisherman’s Village
- Chace Park—the Marina del Rey Summer Concert Series is held here on Thursdays and Saturdays from June to August.
- California Yacht Club
- UCLA Marina Aquatic Center
- Ballona Wetlands
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